Before you dis the idea of meatloaf, hear me out. When done right (like this Italian meatloaf with marinara sauce by Recipe Tin Eats), it's actually good. If your only mental image of the old-school dinnertime staple involves a dry log of ground beef covered in ketchup, you'll be surprised by how upscale and flavorful it can be. These recipes are proof! Here's how some of our favorite celebrity chefs and Food Network personalities make meatloaf; in other words, the only ways you'll ever prepare it again.
Giada De Laurentiis: Add Feta and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Giada lightens up the classic with her recipe for turkey meatloaf with feta and sun-dried tomatoes. Turkey is drier than beef, so the recipe calls for plenty of Italian ingredients that add extra flavor, like garlic, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes with herbs, and feta.
Alton Brown: Mix Ground Chuck and Sirloin
By using a combination of ground chuck and sirloin in his Good Eats meatloaf recipe, Alton Brown ensures there's no lack of flavor or moisture. What makes this version even better is the sweet homemade glaze made of Worcestershire sauce, honey, cumin, and hot sauce.
Ina Garten: Go Classic
If you're looking for a totally classic meatloaf recipe that delivers, Ina Garten's meatloaf is for you. None of the ingredients are out of the ordinary (olive oil, onions, tomato paste, breadcrumbs, and, yes, ketchup), but when measured to a T — that's one of Ina's best cooking tips — they result in a no-fail meatloaf you're sure to love.
Chrissy Teigen: Use Half Spicy Italian Sausage
"Man, I love meatloaf," Chrissy Teigen wrote in the introduction of her recipe for Spicy Italian Sausage Meatloaf on page 202 of her cookbook, Cravings. She goes on to explain that she even loved the frozen TV dinner kind, but "Now, of course, I prefer my meatloaf made of actual, you know, meat. And not just any meat, the gift that is spicy Italian sausage." The expert home cook uses a combination of ground beef and hot Italian sausage for a guaranteed nonboring meal that lives up to the hype of her other brilliant recipes, like chicken pot pie soup.
Ree Drummond: Wrap It in Bacon
When in doubt, add bacon. Ree Drummond's meatloaf recipe, like all Pioneer Woman recipes, is simple and comforting. The Food Network host wraps the entire meatloaf in eight to 12 slices of bacon, allowing all the flavor to seep into the meat as it bakes.